NG taxes to go up despite frozen rate
BY ANGELA BROWN
Staff Zero it is. Despite a great deal of haggling on both sides, with a final 4-1 vote, North Glengarry council froze the municipal tax rate when it adopted the 2015 municipal budget Monday.
Coun. Jeff Manley was the only councillor opposed to the budget, hoping for a half percentage point tax rate decrease instead.
While there will be no tax rate increase, property owners are expected to see an increase on their taxes as a result of increased property assessments, based on Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) reports.
The net requisition of $4,704,500, to be raised through property taxation, represents an increase of $234,500 from the 2014 amount of $4,470,000.
For properties valued at $100,000, the municipal portion of the residential bill will be $507, commercial $828.40, industrial $ 1,046.10 and farmland $126.70.
Deputy Mayor Jamie MacDonald said council decided earlier to remove a proposed $1 million RARE recycling plant upgrade. “We still need to discuss the issue,” he said.
Initially at the meeting’s first vote, councillors Brian Caddell and Michel Depratto and Mayor Chris McDonell voted in favour of the budget with Deputy Mayor Jamie MacDonald, Coun. Jeff Manley and Coun. Carma Williams opposed. Those opposed objected to what appeared to be an added $20,000 in savings to top up the contin- gency fund, bringing that amount up to about $47,000.
Coun. Williams urged council to resort to a 0.55 per cent decrease in taxes, saying there is no need to finish the year with an unnecessary surplus in the continency fund or as she called it a perceived “slush fund.”
Coun. Jacques Massie was absent from the meeting due to illness.
Mr. MacDonald later said Mr. Massie’s voice was missed at the meeting and it made it difficult for council to come to an early resolution in approving the budget. He added it doesn’t make sense for council to put so much money in its contingency fund. But he was satisfied that in an amendment, council ultimately earmarked about $26,000 to be directed into the gravel program.
Council turned to CAO Daniel Gagnon to decide whether it would be best to try to approve the budget or put it off until Mr. Massie returned. Mr. Gagnon said the $20,000 council was arguing about it was not worth further delaying passing the budget. “Let’s do this,” he said.
After the meeting Mayor Chris McDonell said he was satisfied the budget was finally approved and said earmarking more money for the gravel program is a good decision.
Kenyon resident Ken Turnbull was the only taxpayer present during the budget presentation. He said after the meeting he was content with the outcome. He didn’t see the need for a 0.55 per cent tax rate decrease as administration had originally recommended in pre-budget talks. He suggested a 0.4 per cent tax decrease. That way there would still be a little money directed to the contingency fund. He was in favour of putting more money into the roads budget, however.
Water and sewer rising In the waterworks budget for 2015 council approved a two per cent increase in monthly water / sewer rates for households, which works out to $56.66 for water and $30.91 for sewer service, or $87.57 in total, up from the base rate of $85 per month.
IMAGES FROM THE DUNVEGAN WINTER CARNIVAL: At left, Mae Ella McCormick, 4, of Dunvegan, obviously loved the toboggan hill at last Saturday’s festivities. At right, Sam and Jake Wensink of Maxville were in charge of the sleigh rides.